Energy, Manufacturing To Lead Obama, Modi Talks


U.S. President Barack Obama and new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday plan to discuss issues ranging from manufacturing to sanitation as the two leaders aim to deepen ties.

Obama and Modi were scheduled to meet at the White House at 10:55 a.m. (1455 GMT) during Modi's first visit to the United States since taking office in May, part of a larger effort aimed at expanding security partnerships and spurring foreign investment.

“When we meet today in Washington, we will discuss ways in which we can boost manufacturing and expand affordable renewable energy, while sustainably securing the future of our common environment,” Obama and Modi said in a joint opinion piece published in The Washington Post on Tuesday.

“We will discuss ways in which our businesses, scientists and governments can partner as India works to improve the quality, reliability and availability of basic services, especially for the poorest of citizens. In this, the United States stands ready to assist,” the two men wrote.

“An immediate area of concrete support is the 'Clean India' campaign, where we will leverage private and civil society innovation, expertise and technology to improve sanitation and hygiene throughout India.”

The meeting comes on the heels of a joint “vision statement” issued after their first get-together at a White House dinner on Monday that laid out their plan to expand and deepen their countries' strategic partnership.

While efforts have been underway to build stronger ties between the United States and India, one of the world's most populous countries and a potential counterbalance to China in Asia, the partnership has yet to live up to expectations.

Modi has received a warm welcome in the United States, speaking at the U.N. General Assembly in New York and meeting with various U.S. corporate chief executives. On Tuesday, he was scheduled to meet with other U.S. leaders, including Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner.

He also plans to visit a number of memorials in Washington devoted to former Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi, President Abraham Lincoln and civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.

“We remain committed to the larger effort to integrate South Asia and connect it with markets and people in Central and Southeast Asia,” Obama and Modi wrote in their op-ed.

They also reiterated a commitment to share intelligence and cooperate on security issues. They will also work on health issues that will help in tackling a range of crises from Ebola to malaria, they added.